The Nasdaq ( NDAQ) dropped its $4.2 billion offer for the London Stock Exchange Thursday, ending an international takeover drama that many believed was poised to escalate. In a brief statement, the Nasdaq said it "no longer intends to make an offer for the LSE." It didn't give a reason. The New York-based company said it "reserved the right" to renew the offer under certain circumstances over the next six months. The Nasdaq publicly disclosed its unsolicited offer for the LSE on March 10. The bid, which comprised cash and looked to be contingent on a large slug of bank financing, was 60% higher than a previous offer for the London exchange made by Australia's Macquarie Bank. It was 72% above the LSE's closing price before the Macquarie bid surfaced. The LSE recommended shareholders reject both the Nasdaq and Macquarie offers. A big question now concerns NYSE Group ( NYX), the newly public exchange that was reportedly preparing its own offer for the LSE in the wake of the Nasdaq's overture. The NYSE made no formal statement on the Nasdaq withdrawal. NYSE Chief John Thain has talked up the need for acquisitions at the Big Board, and with the stock up 25% since merging with Archipelago, many believed the time was right for a European advance. Nasdaq shares closed at $41.85 Wednesday. NYSE shares closed at $80.